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July summit brings together young Chinese & Kiwi leaders


Senior school and first year university students from New Zealand and China will gather at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch this July for the New Zealand China Youth Leadership Summit (13 – 20/23 July 2019) to celebrate the two nations’ sister city links.

Delegates will learn about global issues and leadership in a cross-cultural environment and explore how they can make a difference as future global citizens. Also on the summit itinerary are special topic days in Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.

This year is the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, with the two countries’ long established links to the fore. An official youth event, the summit is supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Awarded Best Youth Project last year by Sister Cities New Zealand, this year’s event follows two very successful summits in the sister cities of Auckland and Qingdao.

“We are excited at the calibre of this event that is all about preparing the next generation of leaders in China and New Zealand to be effective global citizens,” says Katherine MacGregor, MBIE Event Manager for China-New Zealand Year of Tourism 2019.

In the wake of the Christchurch mosque shootings, New Zealanders opened their hearts to embrace people of other cultures and religions. High school students gathered in their thousands, in love and solidarity, to spread the message of ‘you are us’. This summit shares that inclusive and inspiring vision and seeks to further empower students so they can learn to become effective, culturally aware, socially responsible leaders.

Up to 100 students from China and New Zealand are expected to take part. The summit offers a week-long residential programme at St Andrew’s College (13-19 July), with boarding house accommodation provided. Staying on campus will ensure a fully immersive experience, with evening workshops, projects and other activities planned to round out and enrich the daily programme. A non-residential option is also available.

A high level delegation from the Qingdao municipal government is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony while Stephen Jacobi, of the NZ China Council, will present the keynote address. He will be joined by a host of inspiring speakers and presenters. Workshops, lectures and forums will cover a wide range of topics including global relations, cultural intelligence, future leadership and global citizenship. Summit alumni will support this year’s delegates with Lukas Scowen, of Rotorua’s Western Heights High School, leading the team.

International educator and summit founder Jan Fitz-Gerald is delighted that this year’s summit is being held in Christchurch, bringing together the next generation of global citizens and leaders from the sister cities of New Zealand and China.

“We must invest in our youth so they may continue to strengthen the relationships that exist today between our two nations,” she says. “This summit reinforces the importance of those relationships and will contribute to future innovation, leadership and global engagement between the future leaders of our two countries.”

Lukas Scowen describes last year’s event in China as one of the best he’s ever attended.

“Last year’s summit was such an eye opener,” he says. “I learned so many leadership skills and realised there’s this side to China that not many people here know about. If you are eager to learn about China-New Zealand relations and leadership, then I’d definitely recommend getting along to this year’s summit: it will be a real boost.”

The Summit runs from 13 – 20/23 July 2019. For more info, including how to register, visit www.globalengagement.ac.nz or email summit@globalengagement.ac.nz

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